Saturday, March 1, 2008
Chinese New Year At Chai Chee
Chinese New Year then was subdued. There was no fire crackers to welcome the new year. Children and adults had no new clothes and shoes to put on as time was hard.
Re-union dinner was confined to family members within the house. There was no visitors as public transport was scarce. Furthermore, our friends and relatives were scattered in different parts of the island. There was no ang pow for the children. We lived in fear as there was rumour of Japanese atrocities in other parts of Singapore.
Chinese New Year In Early
Post War Years
Preparation started in earnest a few days before the Chinese New Year. Children and adults had their hair cut. Parents bought new shoes for the children to visit relatives and friends. Fire crackers came in two sizes. The big ones, red in colour came in a square packet. The small ones, red and green in colours came in a rectangular box. The noise of fire crackers could be heard a few days before the new year. It became more intense as the festival drew nearer. The din of the crackers continued to the end of the festival. On the last day, just before midnight there was heavy firing of crackers on the road. Shops in the neighbourhood challenged one another to show off. The road was filled with thick smoke caused by the fire crackers and motor vehicles had to move very slowly to avoid accident and fires. When the firing of crackers stopped, the neighbourhood was extremely quiet. The road was carpeted with red papers from the crackers. But, the festivity went on with friends and neighbours gathering inside the house to gamble.